SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN 11/21/2003
by Sean from Tone Slave
1. What are you currently up to?
David T. Chastain: The usual: running Leviathan Records and Diginet Music, recording music that I have written and producing other bands. I have amassed quite a catalog of Cds that even surprises me. Check that out at: David T. Chastain Discography
Personally I got married back in September. You can check that out at: Chastain Wedding Page!
2. The soon to be released CHASTAIN Cd "In An Outrage" will feature new drummer Larry Howe and bassist Dave Starr both formerly of Vicious Rumors. How did they come to be involved in the band?
David T. Chastain: Kate French, our vocalist, married Larry Howe a few years back. Larry is a great metal drummer. Dave and Larry have been trying to find the right band to join for years and so this was a perfect situation for all involved. To view pixs of the new band go to: Chastain Band Pixs
3. You have been able to make a career in the music business for
quite some time now. What would you mainly attribute to your success?
David T. Chastain: Back in the old days of Spike we were mainly playing clubs doing both covers and original songs. In those days there were rock clubs all over the country so you could make a decent living and have some pretty good times. You certainly couldn't get rich but at least you didn't have to do anything else. Then around 1984 I decided I was going to make it on my own music one way or another. I quit Spike and started up CJSS. Fortunately CJSS became a big local band right out of the gate. We were making enough money playing a show or 2 a month to survive on. At the same time I began contacting record companies around the world. I received a record deal for my band Chastain. Once the Chastain band Cd came out in 1985 I became a professional recording artist and could make a meager living doing that. Then in 1986 Steve McClure and myself started Leviathan Records for the purpose mainly of putting out the CJSS Cds in the states. That became a pretty successful enterprise in short order. When Leviathan Records started 90% of my time was still my music. As time has gone on, unfortunately Leviathan Records takes up 90% of my time. Now days I have income coming in from Leviathan Records, Diginet Music, my recording royalties, production fees and songwriting royalties. Once again I am not getting rich but I am still making my living off the music business one way or another.
4. I once read you actively pursued Iron Maiden when Adrian Smith left. Where you a big fan of Maiden? What do think of their new music?
David T. Chastain: Yes that was back in 90 or so I believe. I really liked their music in that time frame. I talked with the management but in reality they already had a replacement lined up for years. (In case something happened to one of the guitarists on tour, etc) Plus they wanted someone from England who could play soccer with them. The new stuff is good but the "Somewhere in Time" and "7th Son" era is my favorite. Let me set something straight, there was a rumor for years around Cincy and I still get asked about it: I did not turn Ozzy or Dio down! So many people have come up to me over the years and say "Why did you turn down that Ozzy gig!"
5. Very often bands reach a certain level of local success
but aren't able to make it to the next level. What mistakes do you think bands commonly make?
David T. Chastain: Because usually they are only thinking "local" and not worldwide. In Cincy the goal of so many bands is to "open for so and so at Bogarts" or something similar. Plus there is too much copycat mentality. You need to try to be original to make your own statement. Don't try to be the "Next Korn" or something similar. Most locals have no clue to the worldwide music trends or what it takes to make a career. Needless to say so many things are out of a band's control that it is almost impossible to "Make it" now days on the world stage. You see so many successful local bands break up and try to go onto other things only to realize what a horrible mistake they made in destroying their bands. Unfortunately for most, lightening only strikes once.
6. With more musicians doing home recordings these days.
Do you think having a band that gigs and tours is as important
as it once was in landing a record deal?
David T. Chastain: No. I haven't done any extensive touring for nearly 10 years. Only shows here and there that I know I will enjoy. With that said, in the hard rock/metal realm you really need to tour to become really successful. However that is easier said than done.
7. Although You are most well known in the Metal world. You are a
very well rounded musician and play many different styles. Who are some artists you enjoy listening to outside of metal?
David T. Chastain: I listen to classical music anytime I want to relax. I still listen to tons of metal and hard rock. Just to keep my ear to the ground as to what is happening in the music world. There is a lot of great metal music coming out of Europe that most fans in the states doesn't even know exists.
8. What type of artists does Leviathan Records look for? And are
you currently Accepting demos?
David T. Chastain: Well foremost I have to like the music. Currently we are pretty much only interested in power metal bands like our band FIREWIND. That type of music showcases musicianship, melody, great vocals and energy. That style of music is very successful in most places other than the US market. Any bands that generally fit that category can send packages to:
P.O. Box 667
Sharpsburg, GA 30277
9. What are your future plans for Leviathan Records?
David T. Chastain: We have a new Chastain due out in early 2004. A new instrumental Cd from Corbin King, a great guitarist from down here in Atlanta. We are going to re-release some of the older catalog titles with new packaging and of course remastering. Probably a new Joe Stump Cd, new SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd and who knows what else might surface.
10. Any last comments for your fans?
David T. Chastain: Thanks for all of the support thru the years and I hope to play a show up there next year in Cincy somewhere, somehow with one band or another. It probably is about time for another Spike re-union. As hard as it is to believe for me, the band broke up 20 years ago!!!
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